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For weeks, you've heard about it. Starting today, and every weekday for the next 15 weeks, nearly 150 champions will converge for the most extensive Jeopardy! tournament EVER with a $2 million purse on the line. So extensive, in fact, that we've moved it over to Primes. It's THAT big.

From Sony PR

They're coming from as far away as Thailand, South Africa and Holland, all for the chance to answer the question, "Who is the best Jeopardy! player ever?" On Wednesday, February 9th , Jeopardy!, America's Favorite Quiz Show®, will begin broadcast of its biggest tournament to date, "The Ultimate Tournament of Champions", a 15-week mega-tourney, reuniting the greatest players in Jeopardy!'s 21-year history.

In November 2004, Jeopardy! phenomenon Ken Jennings entered the record books as the biggest money-winner in game show history, prompting the question, "How would he do against other Jeopardy! greats?" Now, the producers of the hit television quiz show are prepared to answer that question by launching a special series of shows spotlighting competition among nearly 150 classic Jeopardy! champions - culminating with a $2 Million dollar cash prize to the winner.

"The 2003 rule change, which allows Jeopardy! players to keep playing until they're defeated, raised the question about how other five-time champions might have played under this rule," said Jeopardy! Executive
Producer Harry Friedman. "This Tournament is an opportunity to give those past champions another chance to shine."

Invited to compete in the Tournament are the winners of every Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions, College Championship and Teen Tournament, including yesterday's winner Michael Braun, and the field will include over 100 of the top-scoring, undefeated, five-time champions since the show began in 1984.
Collectively, these Jeopardy! champions have won over $15 million dollars in their past appearances.

The tournament participants will compete in a series of games, which will narrow the field to two players who will compete against Ken Jennings in the finals, to be broadcast in May. Winners of the games in
every round of the tournament will keep their winnings, with minimum guarantees throughout, and non-winners receive cash consolation prizes.

How it works

The format of Jeopardy!'s Ultimate Tournament of Champions is as follows:

Round 1

One hundred thirty-five players compete in one game each. Winners of the games in Round One of the tournament will keep their winnings, with a minimum guarantee of $15,000, and advance to the next round of competition. Non-winners will receive $5,000.

Round 2

Forty-five winners from Round One will be joined by nine "seeded" players and play one game each. The seeded players were selected based on past accomplishments and status as record holders:

*Chuck Forrest:* Record holder in regular winnings ($72,800) until Season 6.
*Frank Spangenberg:* Record holder in regular winnings ($102,597) from Season 6 until Season 19.
*Brian Weikle:* Record holder in regular winnings ($149,200) from Season 19 until five-day rule change.
*Robin Carroll:* Most cumulative (including all tourneys) money won on Jeopardy! ($224,100) until the Million Dollar Masters Tournament.
*Brad Rutter:* 1st Place Million Dollar Masters winner, and most money won on Jeopardy! ($1,155,102), until Ken Jennings.
*Eric Newhouse:* 2nd place, Jeopardy! Million Dollar Masters.
*Bob Verini:* 3rd place, Jeopardy! Million Dollar Masters.
*Sean Ryan:* First six-time champion.
*Tom Walsh:* First seven-time champion (also, record holder in regular winnings -- $184,900 until Ken Jennings).

The winners of each of the Round Two games will keep their winnings, with a minimum guarantee of $20,000, and move on to the next round. Non-winners receive $10,000.

Round 3

The 18 winners from Round Two will compete in one game each. Winners keep their winnings, with a guarantee of $30,000, and move on to the Semi-Final round. Non-winners receive $15,000.

Round 4 - Semi-finals

Three of the six winners from Round Three compete in a two-day total point match, with the combined total point winner becoming one Finalist. The other three semi-finalists compete in another two-day total point
match, with the combined total point winner becoming the second Finalist. All players in the Semi-Finals keep their two-day totals, with the two winners of the round receiving a minimum guarantee of $50,000
each. The two second-place finishers in each match receive a guarantee of $30,000; third-place is guaranteed $20,000.


The two surviving champions face-off with record-holder Ken Jennings in a three day total point match to be broadcast May 23-25. $250,000 goes to Third place; $500,000 for Second place; and a $2 Million dollar cash prize will be awarded to the winner!

Jeopardy!, a winner of 24 Emmy awards since its debut in 1984, is produced by Sony Pictures Television, a Sony Pictures Entertainment Company, and is distributed domestically by King World Productions, Inc.
The series is distributed internationally by CBS Paramount International Television.

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